Although I first met America’s last great rock and roll band when they hit Toronto – literally! – in the Summer of 1977, it took Vera Ramone’s grand new book “Poisoned Heart” to truly bring me back to both her, and my, gabba gabba heydays.
Yes, in those supposedly dark ages before the Internets and/or Pro Tools, it really was possible to change the world with just three chords and a full tank of gas: Over the course of twenty-two years, the Ramones performed two thousand, two hundred and sixty three concerts. I wish I could have been at every one of them.
As we pick up where we left off last Friday, Vera and Dee Dee Ramone have just made it legal, and along with Joey, Johnny, and Marky are headed towards the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the silver screen, AND Phil Spector’s recording studio…..
As you married Dee Dee in September of 1978, the Ramones were just entering what can now be seen as the peak of their initial success. They were recording their classic work, touring North America and Europe on a regular basis, and were about to star in the film “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.” In fact, you joined the band on the road whenever possible during those years, correct?
I basically quit my day job, and we traveled everywhere together.
It’s hard to be on the road without your loved ones, and the rest of the Ramones also brought along their girlfriends, and later wives. They functioned better with their significant others, and could stay out on the road for longer periods of time. It just became a way of life for us.
Then we would return after sometimes two or three months, and it felt strange to be at home. There was NO routine. We saw our families, friends and did this and that, and after a couple of weeks it was like “OK!” and we’d go back out again!
We were young and could do it. We didn’t really know any different.